This round of books are all Gelli® print books. I fell in love with monoprinting several years ago when I took a printing class at a retreat. In that class we used ceramic tiles as our printing plate and I still love that occasionally for more abstract types of prints. The Gelli Arts® Gel Printing Plate won my heart when it came out a few years ago because it allows you to use a variety of tools (like stencils – one of my favorite things) to create wonderfully detailed prints. There may be as many ways to use these plates as there are fish in the sea! The books in this post highlight a few of my favorite ways to use Gelli® prints.
21/100: This first book was created with prints I made using the 4″ and 6″ round Gelli® plates. I love those little plates because, not only do you get the pattern and color that you create with stencils and layering, you also get the round shape of the plate itself. This book is 4.5″ x 7″, filled with 90lb multi-media paper, long-stitched and finished with a button. The cover is embellished with book paper circles and a layered flower (punched from scraps).
22/100: Next is the book from my online class, Mixed Media Folio Fun. This is a 7″ x 9″ folio-style book that has an extra spine on the right to support a flap that wraps over the front cover and snaps shut with a magnet. Instead of sewn-paper signatures, this book has a hinge system to which I’ve attached all sorts of pockets, cards, pages and more with permanent glue. The cover was created with scraps of Gelli® prints and security envelope, patch-worked together and embellished with other rubber-stamped or doodled scraps on top. I love teaching this book because it becomes such a personal expression – every single one is different and beautiful and I adore seeing them develop.
On a side note, this is also a class I will be teaching in person this fall at Lucky Star Art Camp and I just have to share that there is a tuition giveaway going on right now (ends July 24th)! The winner gets free tuition AND can choose a friend to win too! If you live in this part of the world (or can get here), be sure to go enter – this camp is truly one of the diamonds among all the retreat options available out there. You can read more about my experiences at this camp here and here.
23/100: Next up is the bonus book from Mixed Media Folio Fun. This book is also 7″ x 9″ with the magnetic flap and is covered with scraps and a bit of washi tape. It’s filled with 90lb multi-media paper (4 signatures of 5 sheets each) and stitched long-stitch style; but I added an extra short stitch in the center for beads (inspired by a similar book in Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden). I also added beads to my header and footer stitches.
24/100: This is the book I started as a teaching sample in last Saturday’s “Round in Circles” printing/bookbinding class. It is 3.25″ x 7″ and is filled with 90lb multi-media paper. It also has a magnetic closure, which is sewn to the right-side spine. For the stitching, I had seen several books that had similar criss-cross patterns, but couldn’t find instructions, so just played until I got it to work – basically by working with two signatures at once. It was not for the faint of heart! I had some trouble getting the stitches tight but really love how the spine looks, so will likely try it again on a future book!
25/100: Last, but not least for today, is a book that started with a Gelli® print and then got some mixed media love – additional stenciling (the old-fashioned way), some doodling, a little sewing and I was completely in love! Added the magnetic closure that I love so very much and finished with a paired needle coptic stitch (again from Alisa Golden’s great book). This is another mini-book, measuring just 2.5″ x 6.5″, that I filled with the cut-offs from book 20/100 from last post – so 140lb watercolor paper, grouped into six signatures of three sheets each.
One thing I’ve learned about coptic – correct tension is key! Too much tension (especially at the covers) and it will not close. Too little tension and the whole thing is wonky. My friend Tricia tells me that the heavier the paper, the harder it is to get the tension right – but I’ll keep practicing. I love how this book came out – it does appear that I’m getting better because I only had to rip it out and restitch it once! 🙂
The last grouping I’ll have for you (for now, anyway) will be marbled books – stay tuned!